99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
Taps: 46 / Bottles: 125
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev +10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75 | $
While 99 Bottles has been around for decades, it has been under new ownership since around late 2012 or early 2013. The new owners have really stepped up their beer list. Where before it was somewhat boring, it's now very solid. They'll consistently have 831 IPA from Sante Adairius, and a number of beers on tap from Northern California breweries. At the same time, 515 and Red have both focused less on their beer program so I'd say 99 Bottles is now the best place downtown to drink beer, both for its very large selection and having a number of high quality options (like maybe a dozen west coast IPAs/DIPAs on tap).
Food is serviceable as long as you stay basic, like burgers (I like the one with green chile and guacamole) or potato skins.
04-25-2014 23:15:35 | More by bouncepass
3.72/5 rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a decent enough place and of the 4 Santa Cruz beer spots I visited, this was the second best.
Draft list seemed to be about 40 strong with another 60 or so bottles. Selection was really good, including a good variety of all styles and a few more interesting beers. If you want the really good stuff, or the rarer brews, burger is the better bet but 99 Beers still holds its own. They had Bois on tap while I was there and that was about the only really interesting/rare beer that they had.
Atmosphere isn't great. A bit dirty and run down but still ok for what it is.
08-02-2013 06:28:24 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
OK, they have a lot of beer here..99 selections apparently, a ton of taps, a mess of bottles, informative beer menu provides a heap of info on the selections and about beer in general. Food tends towards your typical burgers and fries and the staff seemed to be friendly enough.
Somehow I just got a “run of the mill” beer place feeling here. Lots of selections, but just about everything would fall into the pretty widely available category. Same with the food…been there, done that…
They were crowded, so the formula seems to be working for them.
Don’t go looking for anything that pushes the envelop beer, food or atmosphere wise, do go for a large and serviceable selection, a reliable burger, the game on the tube, comfortable mid sized joint with well worn tables and low brow ambitions…
10-01-2011 15:58:48 | More by Billolick
3.8/5 rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Right in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz is the song about bottles of beer. As the name suggests, this place offers 99 different beers*. 40 of them are on-tap, the rest are offered in the bottle. They have offerings on-tap from Anderson Valley, Stone, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy, Bear Republic, North Coast, New Belgium, Anchor, Deschutes, Spaten. The bottle selection is a little "geekier", with Orval, Delirium, Tripel Karmeliet, Unibroue, Celebrator, Weihenstephaner, Alaskan, Samuel Smith's. What's that "mystery beer" on the menu? find out for yourself! Saw some extra glassware hanging out in one section....glad to see some of that.
This would be a good place for anyone to grab a beer, and it holds some geek appeal. Recommended.
*A handful of the beers are actually ciders.
02-08-2010 06:56:21 | More by DoubleJ
3.33/5 rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've heard enough about this Santa Cruz institution that it was time I gave it a visit. The interior and atmosphere could bascially one of millions of brew pubs. Standard wooden tables and chairs, a wrap-around bar in front, with brick walls. There is actually 99 bottles on one of the walls (we actually counted) and if you drink 99 different beers, they put this little plaque on the wall. It was a busy day with the Tour of California bike race ending a few blocks away about an hour ago, and the staff was a little overwhelmed. We'd have to ask for things like water twice, or they'd leave four napkins for five of us. Little annoying things like that.
Yes, they have 99 different brews available, and most of them I would enjoy. Most of them I've had, or wouldn't have too much trouble finding anywhere else. It's a good place to gain exposure to a lot of beers, or introduce your friends to sound good micros, but if you're looking for some usual, unique, or hard to find brew, I doubt you are going to find it here.
Food was a standard brew pub faire, and they did a good job of it, at a reasonable price. I'll be back.
02-17-2009 02:35:26 | More by RunDWP
3.58/5 rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
I've been here a million times so I might as well review it.
This is a rather typical gastropub with a largish but unimpressive beer selection. Lots of widely available micros make this a quantity-not-quality place that someone new to craft beer can cut his/her teeth on. Unfortunately, for the experienced beer connoisseur, it gets old fast. The beer list has extremely low turnover, the food is fairly standard pub grub, the service is good but not great, prices are typical. They do have fun events like trivia night on Wednesdays and I think karaoke on another night. Unless you really like trivia or want a plaque on the wall (for sampling all 99 beers), there's no real reason to pick 99 Bottles over 515 Kitchen and Cocktails or The Red Restaurant and Lounge, which are both less than 3 blocks away and boast wonderfully eclectic beer lists.
02-15-2009 05:19:59 | More by illidurit
3.95/5 rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Cool place. First started going here during the summer of '92. The staff at that time were terrific. Knowledgeable friendly and helpful. The goal of drinking 99 different beers they serve and getting a small personalized placard on the wall was a nice incentive to keep stopping by and keep drinking new beers. I made it on the wall by the end of the summer. Great beer selection then and above average now. They have something like 30 to 40 beers on tap. The food is pretty good pub grub. Location is awesome being right there at Pacific Garden Mall.
08-29-2008 03:41:26 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
3.71/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Much like Santa Cruz itself, I seem to find less and less reason to visit this place whenever I'm in town. Located just off the Pacific Garden Mall in downtown Santa Cruz...
The atmosphere of this place is nothing special, looking like a moderate sized cafe with a large wrap around bar area straight in front of you as you walk in the door. For some reason they have a low brick partition dividing the bar area from much of the dining room off to the right, but whatever.
I always sit at the bar when I stop in, and as I'm usually here during off hours (afternoons during the week), service has always been just fine. Most of the time the bartender has not been exceptionally knowledgable, but the beer menu is a pretty good guide for what they generally have on tap, and what the various beers are like. Not that much guidance is required, as I generally find the selection here to be pretty pedestrian. I can't remember the last time I came in here and actually saw something on the menu I hadn't tried before. There is a good size selection of beer here, and so I can usually find something tolerable to drink. They also offer a sampler selection, but they've never had enough interesting beers available for me to want to take advantage of it.
There's nothing wrong with this place, but much like Seabright Brewpub, it's just not a place I look forward to visiting any more. So unless you have to have a beer and nothing else, you would be much better off getting margartitas over at Tampicos just down the street (on Pacific - excellent tequila selection and wonderful ritas), or visiting one of the many outstanding wine bars in town (Pearl Alley Bistro, Avanti and Soif right across the street from 99 bottles, to name just a few).
05-07-2008 16:10:23 | More by John_M
99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall in Santa Cruz, CA
88 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.